Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Episode 11 Review: Sakura and the Upside down Penguin

While learning about the equal sign in math class, Sakura thinks of the similar effects of the clow cards to the clear cards. This episode is cleaver in connecting the subject in math (equal sign) to the comparison of the two card types. Aqua is similar to Watery, Flight to Fly, and Gale to Windy. She is quickly shocked out of her daze by her teacher. After lunch where Sakura and her friends discuss the upcoming events. This event will focus on ball sports, Yamazaki explains Badminton to the group. Surprising everyone because he didn’t lie for once.

On the way home, Sakura, Tomoyo, Akiho and Syaoran run into Kaito who’s  returning from shopping for food. Syaoran becomes quickly concerned, while back home he contacts Eriol. He believes that Kaito has magical powers, Eriol asks for his full name, Yuna D. Kaito. Eriol says that “D” is given to the highest ranking members of a magician society. Syaoran questions why someone wouldn’t hide his “D”. Eriol suggests that Kaito may be so powerful that he doesn’t feel the need to hide his affiliation with the organization.

They assume that Kaito likely has “moon magic,” their uncertain about the who’s responsible for his presence. While at home, Sakura notices a card nearby. Tomoyo has given Kero a go-pro and Sakura a new outfit. When they approach the playground, they notice that all the playground equipment is upside down. She prepares to capture it, but is turned upside by the card, she is saved by Kero. She captures the Reverse card, but before they could return the playground to it normal state they had to flee to avoid being seen by a crowd. Tomoyo informs them that they weren’t seen. Kero’s camera skills need work as he effectively fails to produce good content, Tomoyo tells him that they will begin video recording training tomorrow.

Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.) Blu-ray Special Edition ***3 Discs***



Black Clover Episode 1 & 2 review: Asta and Yuno

Back in October of 2017 a new anime series, Black Clover was released. Based on the manga of the same name, created by Yuki Tabata, Black Clover focuses on “a young boy named Asta, seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in.” After resisting I finally decided to check it out. My opinion after the first episode is that it’s okay.

I can’t really pinpoint why I wasn’t excited about this series. I love shonen, most of my anime diet consists of the shonen genre. I wouldn’t characterize Black Clover as bad, but too familiar. Asta’s dream is to become “Wizard King,” sound familiar. In One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy is searching for “the one piece” to become the “the Pirate King,” and in Naruto, Naruto aims to become the Hokage (top ninja of the leaf village).

Also like Naruto, Asta is orphaned and has a Sasuke like rival (Yuno). Yuno is a magically prodigy, he’s calm and emotionally muted. Asta is loud, silly and immature as a result he’s underestimated, teased and generally disrespected by the villages. Having common troupes as other series is not in and of it’s self a problem, My Hero Academia is similar to all the mentioned series. I will say that I found Asta to be funny, but annoying. However, at one point in this episode he’s seems defeated and I start to feel sorry for him.

Black Clover exists in the Clover Kingdom, where magic is king. Everything seems to require magic, even everyday activities such as tending to a farm uses magic. Ironically, Asta appears to be the only person that can’t use magic. This leads to his constant humiliation, when the “grimoire ceremony” finishes, Asta is the only one without a grimoire. He plays this moment off for laughs  but it’s somewhat heart wrenching to witness. To make thing worse, Yuno receives a rare grimoire with a “Four Leaf Clover.”

Yuno’s grimoire attracts the attention of a thief, who ambushes him to steal his grimoire. Asta comes to rescue him and is quickly defeated. It’s in this moment Asta seriously considers giving up, however, Yuno claims him as his rival. Asta somehow manifests a “Five Leaf Clover,” in Black Clover the Three Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, and Hope, the Four Leaf Clover represents Faith, Love, Hope and Good Luck, the Five Leaf Clover becomes interesting as it represents Faith, Love, Hope, Good Luck and also resides with a demon.

It sounds that I disliked the series or at least these episodes, even though episode two is large a flashback I didn’t. I’m not sure why noticed the troupes in this series where I really didn’t with say My Hero Academia. What’s interesting about this series is the fact that Asta has NO magically abilities. Deku from My Hero Academia didn’t have a Quirk, but neither did All Might.

Asta is apparently the only person not to have magic. Of course he isn’t without a means of battle now that he has the Five Leaf Clover. Asta’s grimoire turns into a sword and has the ability to nullify magic, this is interesting considering how important magic is. Will Asta remain an outsider, now that he has the means to nullify the most important resource in the world?

Otaku Oakley parody (T-Shirt)

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One Piece Chapter 894: 12:05 AM, Luffy prepares to reveal his new form Snakeman

We get a flashback of the training session between Luffy and Rayleigh, who tells Luffy that “every enemy attack has an intent and motive.” Luffy is distracted by the aroma from Rayleigh’s food. He manages to pinpoint the foods location and hits the pot. Rayleigh attacks Luffy for doing so, he says that he can sense “emotions like anger,” and Rayleigh repeatedly strikes Luffy so he can learn how to use “Kenbunshoku Haki.” Rayleigh continues to teach Luffy how to use Kenbunshoku and how “it can be used to sense other people’s movement as well as to see glimpses into the future.” Luffy asks about the “personality” of the opponent, Rayleigh states that he never “considered that aspect.”

Back in the present, Luffy is able to read Katakuri’s attack patterns and dodge them. Luffy attacks Katakuri, but Katakuri is able to hit Luffy. They continue to land blows on each other, with Luffy getting bested at first, however, he is able to land a hit on Katakuri. Meanwhile, Capone Bege is certain that the Big Mom Pirates will not be able attack them. They begin to approach Liqueur Island, he praises his crew for restoring the “burnt paddles,” Vito notes that due to Prometheus large size it has become “sluggish.” Bege suggest that they should drop off the cake on Liqueur Island, but Chiffon states that ” if dropped at Liqueur Island, Big Mom will still have enough time to catch up with Nami and the Straw Hats.”

On the Thousand Sunny, Nami and Brook tell Jinbe the location of the incoming attacks from Smoothie. Jinbe tells Nami that “he trusts in her navigational skills,” meanwhile, Smoothie continues to get larger in size. Citron and Cinnamon beg her to stop growing, at risk of damaging the ship. She is pissed that Jinbe has been able to avoid her attacks so far. Sanji and Pudding head toward Cacao Island on Rabiyan, on Cacao Island many of the Charlotte siblings arrive to face-off against the Strawhat’s. Finally, we return to Luffy and Katakuri’s fight as Luffy activates a new form, Gear Fourth Snakeman.

I’m not a big fan of Luffy’s Gear fourth design, but I enjoy it’s fighting effect. That leaves me concern with the potential design of “Snakeman,” but expect it to be epic. We are introduce to several more of Big Mom’s children, Former Sweet Commander Snack, the 25th son, with a bounty of 600,000,000 Beli, Brownie, the 32nd son, Raisin, the 33rd son, Yuen, the 35th son, Joconde, the 27th daughter and the “Charlotte Decuplets: 36-40th sons; 30-34th daughters”. I still hold the belief that the Germa Kingdom will return to rescue the Strawhat’s from the Big Mom’s pirates. The arc is reaching it’s climax, only one hour until they rendezvous.


Darling in the FRANXX: Episode 4, Flap Flap review

It was always going to happen but it finally did, Zero Two and Hiro officially paired up in Strelizia. Mitsuru pairs up with Zero Two and it doesn’t end well. Unlike previous pilots however, Mitsuru survives. He describes his experience as horrific, and how Zero Two smiled during the entire ordeal. Understandable, he will never pilot with her again and warns Hiro against doing so.

“Papa,” and the rest of the leadership doesn’t want Zero Two to become tainted by the “parasites,” and want to see her at the frontlines. Despite Zero Two’s kill rate, Hiro and many other parasites still want to pair up with her. Regardless, Hiro manage to sync up with her perfectly, so it’s unlikely they will try to replace him. Meanwhile, the Klaxosaurs have become more troublesome recently. They are more active and it’s now more difficult to locate the core.

He series is clearly painting Strelizia, Zero Two and Hiro as the best team. However, the other members can’t seem to do anything without them. One weird moment that occurred in the episode was when Hiro stated that, “I feel myself going deeper inside of you.” I’ve already criticized this series silly sexually innuendo, but this was too on the nose. However, maybe I’m taking this series too seriously and that was meant to be a joke. That said the show is getting a little better, but I think that the Klaxosaurs could be a little bit more creative looking.



Darling in the Franxx: Episode 1 & 2 Review

A mono type Klaxosaurs

Darling in the Franxx is an anime series from the producers Trigger and A-1 Pictures, focusing on a “post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been driven to endangerment by giant beasts known as klaxosaurs.” Children are bred to be partnered in boy/girl pairs called Parasites and they pilot Giant mecha called Franxx. The series seems to lean heavily on the two genders working together. The title characters both highlight this fact by referencing a bird called Jian. The Jian is known as “the bird that shares wings,” what is interesting is that they both recite this fact but draw different conclusions. 002 believes the fact that male and females need to work together is “beautiful,” whereas Hiro believes that this makes them pathetic.

klaxosaurs attack

The Parasites are at a graduation called a “welcoming ceremony,” where they’re told that they are “the chosen ones,” by Papa a weird hologram, that they must “shed every last drop of blood,” and “children that aren’t fit for this purpose have no value.” Meanwhile, Hiro is given permission to remain but he chooses to leave as his former partner Naomi leaves. It is made clear that her fate is going to be ominous. What is confusing is that it seems like Hiro was largely responsible for the failure but he’s been given an opportunity to stay but Naomi wasn’t. It doesn’t matter however, because a klaxosaurs attacks and kills her.

The mysterious Papa

The klaxosaur is an odd looking creature, with a body that seems too large for its legs. The klaxosaur falls into the plantation as it’s being shot at. As it attacks the garages it uses a massive beam that is deflected by 002’s Franxx. However, she is knocked back into the plantation and her male partner is killed, but she plans on piloting the Franxx alone. Hiro is concerned for her life and she responds that she “isn’t afraid to die.” Hiro predictable offers to fight with her, together they are able to dominate the klaxosaur, Dr. Franxx notes that “when the negative and positive-male and female factors combine and their hearts become one, the iron maiden will reveal her true form.”

002’s Franxx

In the second episode, What it means to connect we become more familiar with the other characters and how Franxx function. Zorome is the typical bully anti-hero, Gorou is the groups negotiator keep the group in harmony. What’s notable about how the Franxx function is that the Stamen (males), named after the male fertilizing organ of a flower, are the “drivers,” and the pistil (females), named after “the female organs of a flower,” are connected to the female looking Franxx. The manner in which the two pilots are seated in the Franxx is highly sexualize, with the male sitting in an upright position and the female positioned in front of him like she’s riding a motorcycle, simulating a sexual position.

The suggestive pilot positions

Furthermore, the piloting handles are literal attached to the females suits so the males steer the Franxx using their bodies. To bring the obvious sexual innuendo home, when connecting the female pilots emote a sexual moan. Hiro inability to pilot a Franxx seems to be some sort of metaphorical suggestion of sexual dysfunction. This is all so obvious and not the least bit scandalous unless your a child. To be blunt the fan-service is just distracting. That said Kill la Kill had similar elements, and while it eventually got old I really enjoyed that regardless. Overall, I liked episode 1 more than episode 2. However, given the fact that this season will be 24 episodes long I’ll stick with it for a while anyway.

The feminine Franxx

Finally, the animation and visual style is spectacular. This of course shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the work of Trigger and A-1 pictures. Everything from the character design, mecha design, monsters and environments are clearly hallmarks of their visual style. The world-building in this series is rather slow and the terminology wasn’t clear, with some still not making sense. Also, who the hell is Papa, why do they call him that? Is he the father of all the orphan? Why was he a hologram?

images from: Random Curiosity


Devilman Crybaby: an interesting, disturbing new anime from Netflix

Devilman Crybaby, is a 10 episode series based on the 1970’s manga of the same name. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the series is the first anime to be Japanese produced by Netflix. The original series was written by Go Nagai in 1972. Devilman was suppose to be a sequel of sorts to a previous series, Demon Lord Dante. That anime followed the protagonists, Akira and his childhood friend Ryo. After they investigates Akira’s father’s  death they find an ancient mask and Akira puts it on becoming possessed by a demon. Devilman Crybaby is similar, but is presented in the present.

However, Akira is possessed by the demon Amon at an orgy. While there Ryo uses a broken bottle to cut up the teens at the party, summoning the demon with blood. Akira is possessed by Amon, but not completely, resulting in a “devilman,” half man, half demon. The series is full of bright colors, nudity, sex (not hentai levels), violence and blood. However, this debauchery is why Ryo believes that humanity isn’t worth saving. Masaaki Yuasa (Space Dandy, Ping Pong: The Animation, and Adventure time), provides his trademark fluid and vivid animation.

If you enjoy the Neon Genesis Evangelion series or Berserk, much of some of the content of this series will not phase you. Akira is an interesting character and while he was more so prior to being possessed. Ryo is a sociopath and unsurprisingly unlikable, if you watch the entire series it will make perfect sense why that is. The overall tone of the show while entertaining is ultimately dark and a bit nihilistic. The series doesn’t end in a predictable manner and that was refreshing. I would recommend this series but consider your willingness to watch sex and violence.



Dragon Ball Super Episode 113: Goku vs Caulifla and Kale

Goku vs Caulifla

Caulifla transforms into Super Saiyan 2 and begins to fight against Goku. She asks that Goku teaches her to reach level Super Saiyan 3. Goku agrees to do it, but tells her she needs to “beat him first.” Due to his fatigue Goku will not begin fighting at level 2. Goku easily dominates the fight, his better martial arts skill on full display. Caulifla lands a hit on Goku and he responds by using his after image technique. Caulifla is annoyed by the technique, accusing him of “cheating.” Goku tells her that if “she can’t figure out his Afterimage technique, she will never achieve Super Saiyan 3.”

Super Saiyan 2 Goku vs Super Saiyan 2 Caulifla

Caulifla begins to adapt well to Goku’s fighting ability and he finally transforms. Caulifla and Goku trade blows as they shock the other fighters. Goku is impressed with her improvement and suggests that she could end up surpassing SS3. Goku points points to Kale and she joins in on the fight as Caulifla invites her. She is ecstatic to join her “sister.” Unsurprisingly, Beerus is shock at Goku’s suggestion.

SS2 Goku vs SS2 Caulifla and Kale

Together Caulifla and Kale manage to land hits on Goku. Shin is worried about Goku’s chances against two super saiyans, however, Krillin states that “that pushing himself to the edge to further himself is who Goku is.” Goku is able to handle himself against the both of them, but Goku is eventually knocked backward. Kale and Caulifla shoot 2 ki blasts at Goku, but he counters them with his aura as he transforms briefly into Super Saiyan 3.

Kale becomes the Berserker Super Saiyan, exciting Goku as he prepares to fight. I like the fact that the series has managed to make older Super Saiyan levels relevant. Super Saiyan 3 was always an unappreciated form, with SS2 even taking greater prominence in the series. Goku’s tendency to help his opponents get stronger has always been annoying, but it never seems to actually backfire on him. It will be interesting to see how a fatigue Goku will handle Kale in her current form.



Inuyashiki: Last Hero Episode 3 Review: Naoyuki Ando

Hiro Shishigami is stunned that Inuyashiki wasn’t killed instead of engaging in a fight with him he flees. Inuyashiki is horrified at the massacre and that there’s “another him,” and what it means. He’s saddened by his inability to save the family. The following day Hiro is at his friend Ando’s house. Ando gets a paper cut and Hiro reveals that he has the ability to heal. Traveling home from work Inuyashiki encounters a group of criminals that skip the line at the cab stand. On person foolishly asks them to “wait their turn,” they forcibly walk him to a secluded spot to assault him. The man cries, pleading for his life but Inuyashiki interferes.

Inuyashiki “fights” in a manner appropriate to that of an old-man, he windmills and throws erratic punches. The scene is both an effective show of heroism and the series since of humor. The man thanks Inuyashiki, who uses his sensor to hear a little girl calling out to her father as their house burns down. Inuyashiki attempts to fly like Hiro did. He looks to Astro boy for inspiration. He manages to fall upward only to fall back to the ground. The second time he’s almost hit by air plane, but he does manage to get to the burning house in time. He successfully saves the father and the grandmother.

Hiro convinces Ando to return to school. After class a bully named Tetchan beings to pick on him. Hiro steps in to help nearly breaking Tetchan’s arm. Ando and Hiro head to a roof, where Hiro shows Ando that he can kill people without gunpowder, he explains that he can hack into government weapon systems, use the internet mentally and steal money from bank accounts. Inuyashiki is walking when a cat is killed by a car. He becomes distraught and discovers that he can heal with his new powers. His first instinct is to head to a nearby hospital and begins to heal patients. Meanwhile, Hiro returns home and decides that he will commit more murder. He kills a dog, the dog’s owner and he baby.

Another great episode from this series. The most noticeable aspect was the humor. The introduction of Hiro to this series added to the dreary tone. Hiro’s behavior toward Ando is dramatically different from his views on the rest of humanity. He appears to at least be mildly concerned with exposure despite his claim that no one could stop him anyway. Ando is unsurprisingly appalled by Hiro’s murderous behavior, but is surprisingly brave when he ends their friendship. Like most people probably did, I assumed that Hiro would kill him and was surprised that he didn’t. The last to moments of this episode exemplifies the differences between Hiro and Inuyashiki, as they commit murder and heal the sick respectively. Finally, I think people need to start locking their doors.


Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 1 Review: Ichiro Inuyashiki

The bad-ass old man is a common trope in anime. In general the old man has massive experience in combat which makes them superior in battle. They often use their acquired knowledge to help the future generation learn. However, the title character of Inuyashiki, Inuyashiki Ichiro is anything but. He’s 58 but looks 80, something that is mentioned in the first episode. He’s just moved into a new house with his nagging wife and unappreciative kids, they hate their new home and aren’t too embarrassed to tell him. They leave to go have dinner without him while he unpacks the moving boxes himself.

Inuyashiki heads to work where he seems to be the oldest person at work and is irritated by the young commuters on the train. He finds a dog and brings it home. His wife and kids seem annoyed that he did. He promises to keep it in his room and names it Hanako. The next day he receives news that he has cancer and will die within three months. Inuyashiki calls his family to inform them of the terrible news and none of them answer his calls.

While walking Hanako, he and a young man are hit by what appears to be a alien space ship. They “restore” the young man and Inuyashiki using their weapons systems. Inuyashiki awakes still in the park, he returns home and notices that he’s thirsty all the time, his back no longer hurts and he can see without his glasses. Unsurprisingly, his cancer “mysteriously” disappears, baffling the doctors. Inuyashiki begins to feel weird and triggers some sort of reaction and begins to give off steam. Hanako licks his palm resulting in his arm transforming into a gun like weapon, but it shoots his dinner from the day before on the wall.

Apparently, none of the teenagers in the series are good people, as a group of them torture an old homeless man. They shot him with firecrackers setting him on fire as he begs for his life. Inuyashiki arrives and begins to walk towards the teens, they surround him and beat him with bats. While on the ground apparently unconsciousness, a camera in the back of his head activates and scans the park, targeting the teens. He shoots white beams at them knocking them to the ground, saving the homeless man. The same camera downloads all the social media information and their identities posting them on t.v. for everyone to see. Inuyashiki is tearful as he realizes that despite his transformation into a robot he remains “a person.”

Most anime/manga don’t focus on older protagonists and that’s a little refreshing. The series is both nihilistic and hopeful, but at different times. Inuyashiki is miserable all the time, no one in his life seems to like him or want him to be around. As a result he was the only character that was sympathetic, however, the dog Hanako and the homeless man become sympathetic at the end of the episode.

All three characters share a sense of helplessness as they are abandoned and find themselves to be lonely. Inuyashiki saves all of them. Hiroya Oku clearly has some commentary regarding young people’s obsession with phones and social media and how both can make them dehumanize humanity. The opposite message seems to be represented by Inuyashiki, who is ostracized by the self involve society and he literally stops being human. However, he manages to remain a emotional being unlike the teens, despite no longer being a human. Oku’s message might be too ham handed for some, and his story might be too deary, but I’m invested.



Dragon Ball Super: the battle royal begins

Iwne V Arack V Liquiir

As the Supreme Kais, Gods of Destruction and Angels arrive for the Tournament of Power, they comment on the “plainness,” of the stage. They question how sturdy the fighting stage, The Great Priest states that the stage is made with Kachi Katchin. The Great Priest offers the Gods of Destruction a chance to test the stage. Liquiir, God of Destruction of Universe 8, Iwne, God of Destruction of Universe 1 and Arack, God of Destruction of Universe 5, all decide to battle each other.

The three Gods do battle, moving at speeds that render them barley visible. They destroy the stage during the battle, ended with the three colliding huge energy blasts creating a large crater. Despite showing that the stage has flaws, the Gods are tasks with repairing the stage before the battle begins.

Universe 7 are ready

Frieza arrives with Goku, finally completing the Universe 7 group. Unsurprisingly, Frieza begins to mock some of the Z fighters, many of whom he has personally killed (Krillin, Vegeta). Vegeta mocks Frieza for his Halo and he offers to give Vegeta his own. Goku is adamant that he will control Frieza.

Shin explains that the group should work together, avoid fighting one on one. Goku and Vegeta, being 100 % Saiyans find the idea of fighting in groups unacceptable. Gohan and Piccolo decided that they will take control of the teamwork. Whis calls for the team to form a “friendship circle,” and team 7 are teleported to the fighting stage.

Meet the competition

After Universe 7 arrives, team Universe 4 arrives and Android 18 notes to the group that the side of the stage leads to pure darkness. The fighters aren’t permitted to fly in the tournament, even though bird-like warriors are allowed. Meanwhile, Universe 6 arrives, and Frost introduces himself to the group, specifically to Frieza. Cabba, Hit, Caulifia and Kale are all introduced to the group.

Caulifia is hostile toward Goku, while, Frost and Frieza plot with each other. Team Universe 11 arrive shocking Goku, Vegeta and Cabba with their Ki. Goku introduces himself to them and is surprised by Jiren’s speed. The two Zen-Oh welcome everyone as the Tournament of Power begins.

I have been disappointed by Dragon Ball Super. The animation early on was disappointing but it has improved since. I’m excited for this Tournament of Power and curious how the battle royal will work. I predict that some fighters will pair off and some of the fighters will remain a team. I wonder how Frieze and Frost will work together and when they will form a plan. Finally, how does Kale (Female Brolly) factor into the battle.